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Slovotsky's Laws (and other quotes)
by Joel Rosenberg

A hero's work is never done. Which is one of the minor reasons I don't recommend the profession.

When it comes to throwing a fit, it's better to give than to receive -- and much better to avoid
the whole thing entirely.

It's easier to ask forgiveness than to get permission.

Boldness is like a condom. If you depend on it all the time, no matter how good it is, and no
matter how good you are, eventually it will break.

I always have a fallback position whenever I take a risk. If all else fails, I'll die horribly,
at great length, and in great pain. Mind you, it's not a good fallback position...

Relax, the universe is out to get you.

When it comes to dealing with the law of averages, it's best to be a habitual offender.

God, give me the strength to change the things that can be changed, the strength to change the
things that probably can't be changed, and the strength to change that which can't possibly be
changed. Hey, if You can't work miracles, what the hell good are You?

Slovotsky's Law #9: Sometimes, you can't do anything about something that sucks.

Slovotsky's Law #9 (revised): Sometimes, you can't do anything about something that sucks --
until later.

Doing the best thing right away is much better than doing the second-best thing after much
hesitation. I didn't say it's easier, mind, just better.

Give me a place to stand, and I'll probably move along anyway.

While it doesn't get the good press that hard work and industry get, laziness is a talent to
be cultivated, like any other.

The hot bath is an art form, and one I wish I had the time to practice assiduously.

Wanting it doesn't make it so. If it did, we'd all learn to want harder. I can already want
quite vigorously, thank you very much.

Nothing is more annoying than someone who has a keen eye for the obvious.

Slovotsky's Law #16: When the universe doesn't give a fuck, don't be mad: it's being as
friendly as it ever gets.

Slovotsky's Law #17: Thou shalt always cover thy ass.

...if you choose how to do it at random, you will screw it up...if you're careful about how
you do it, you'll probably screw it up. Still, "probably" is better than "will."

Slovotsky's Laws #19: When telling a story, effect trumps truth.

Audacity is a virtue that should always be practiced with caution.

The most important lesson in karate is running. The first thing you do in a fight, is to turn
and run away. Run for at least a mile, preferably two or three. If he's still chasing you,
he's probably out of breath by then. If it's still worth fighting about, you turn around
and beat him up.

Slovotsky's Law #22: Never date a woman with a brother named Nunzio.

Slovotsky's Law #23: Trouble with Jewish girls is that their desire to do is in inverse
proportion to their willingness to talk about it.

Sometimes, it's good to be wrong.

I'm a simple man. All I want is enough sleep for two normal men, enough whiskey for three,
and enough women for four.

Just once, I'd like to have an enemy against whom nonviolence would be a workable option --
workable in the sense of me not ending up dancing on the end of a spear or cut into tiny,
bite-sized pieces.

Involve yourself with the world. Reach out. Touch. Taste. Live. Trust me on this one, if
nothing else.

When you say goodbye to a friend, assume that one of you is going to die before you ever get
to see one another again. If you want to leave something unsaid, fine...but be prepared to
leave it unsaid forever.

Travel, it seems to me, has always done more for flattening the arches, callussing the feet,
and irritating the hemorhoids than broadening the mind.

Slovotsky's Law #29: It ain't over 'til it's over, and maybe not then, either.

Never come home unexpectedly. It's a break even proposition, at best.

Slovotsky's Law #31: Get scared right away; avoid the rush.

I've always figured that talking beats fighting. And talking is only about my third
favorite thing.

Guy I used to know once said, "The government isn't best which governs least -- it's the
best government that needs to govern least." I'd swipe it as one of Slovotsky's laws, but
it's just a bit too serious, and maybe a smidgen too true.

The difference between being a trusted friend and a devoted vassal is non-trivial. Me, I'd
rather be the first; vassals tend to go the well too often.

Miscellaneous is always the largest category.

Fundamentally, every bar is the same as every other one, if it's the kind you're drinking
in, to end a sentence with a preposition, which I haven't.

Slovotsky's Law #37: Some people need less attention than others.

Arguing is one of life's great pleasures, even if you have to argue with yourself. Course,
I could enjoy the other side of that argument, too.

Probably the most difficult decision real humans have to make is whether something is
necessarily brutal or unnecessarily brutal. I wish there was something funny about that,
but there you have it.

Nicolló Machiavelli was an asshole.

I find that we all get more legendary as time goes by. "Legend" basically means "bullshit."

When the Black Camel comes for me, I'm not going to go kicking and screaming -- I am, however,
going to try to talk him out of it, "No, no, you want the other Walter Slovotsky."

Slovotsky's Law #43: Thou shalt put thy money where is thy mouth.

Being right all the time is a real expensive habit.

There isn't any pleasing some people. The trick is to stop trying.

A little gentleness goes only a short way. Ladle it out generously, and often, when you can.

Health hint for the traveler: Don't throw rocks at guys with guns.

That glowing red ball hanging over the horizon had better be the setting sun, bucko.

Grab what comfort you can, however you can, whenever you can. The ride gets rocky 'way too

Lying, like eating, can be overdone.

Tell me again why it's a good idea to take a lot of chances.

Whatever you want too much, you can't have, so when you really want something, try wanting
it a little less.

When you know not whereof you speak, your mouth is best used for chewing.

Not getting cut up into bloody little slices is the key to a sound plan.

If you insist on juggling knives, you're going to get cut.

Put three nobles in a room for lunch, and before the appetizers are served, you'll have
four conspiracies. At least.

The old saw says that the first time is an accident, the second time a coincidence, and
the third time enemy action. As a matter of policy, I'm suspicious of accidents, and I
don't believe in coincidences.

You can trust a married man on this: home is where she is. And if that sounds maudlin --
and I guess it does -- it's maudlin that's been honestly come by, although it did take a
second marriage to come by it.

It's very easy to get what you want. Just think carefully, work hard, and get very, very
lucky. Okay, I lied: it's not easy. Sue me.

If you can manage to sleep until noon, the rest of the world will have worn itself out
solving its own problems before you have to get involved. If, that is, they don't get
worse -- which is, let's face it, the way to bet.

When you write a check that your mouth can't cash, the only thing do to is go out and do
something about your bank account.

The first ninety percent of the job takes the first ninety percent of the time. The last
ten percent takes the other ninety percent of the time.

I have one good thing to say about travel: it's the only way I know of to get from here to
there. As for the rest of it, you can have it.

I find it very easy to be philosophical about personal discomfort. As long as it's somebody
else's personal discomfort, of course.

The bad thing about inherited titles is that virtue isn't hereditary. The good thing is
that stupidity isn't, either.

The only good thing I can think of about letting two idiots settle a controversy with a
pair of sharp, pointed pieces of metal is that it does settle the controversy.

When the student outsmarts the teacher, it speaks well for the student -- and probably
better for the teacher.

It takes a lot of time to make things go right, but they can all go to hell in a heartbeat.

It's not over until it's over, and maybe not even then. (A fat lady singing just means
that you're at the opera, or maybe listening to Kate Smith.)

When you don't know what else to do, stall.

If you're drowning and someone throws you an anchor, grab it.

How come you can never find a dragon when you need one?

I'd always liked Robert Thompson's idea of avoiding compromise, of letting the person
with the strong convictions have his own way... and then I realized that encouraged
people to have strong convictions when they don't have enough data.

Bill, your mother swims after troop ships. (In reference to William Shakespeare)

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